Johnson’s first vote in the Commons as prime minister unsuccessful
Boris Johnson’s first vote in the House of Commons as prime minister, to push through a no-deal Brexit was defeated yesterday evening.
The vote, which saw 328 MPs vote to take control of the agenda, with 301 opposing, will allow a bill requesting a Brexit delay to be brought forward.
Those who voted to take control of the agenda comprised of both rebel Tories and members of the opposition and came hours after Philip Lee, Tory MP, defected to the Liberal Democrats.
Johnson has vowed to call for a general election, which could be as early as October 15, if the bill succeeds in calling for a delay to Brexit.
The prime minister has not yet disclosed the date of the general election; however, he has tabled a motion to parliament for an “early general election”.
However, for a general election to be called, two-thirds of MPs would have to back this move, particularly unlikely given the present opposition of Labour to this plan.
Indeed, Labour have stated that they would not support such action until Mr Johnson takes no-deal entirely "off the table".
Sir Keir Stamer, shadow Brexit secretary, has opposed the election at present, stating: "We are not shy of a general election but we are not going to be trapped into abandoning control of Parliament or be taken in what Boris Johnson says because we don't trust him."
Johnson stated that he believed delaying Brexit further would only serve to “hand control” to the EU and would bring about “more dither, more delay, more confusion”.
He defended the choice of an October election, stating to MPs in the Commons that "The people of this country will have to choose”.
The 21 rebel Tory MPs who voted against Johnson’s motion on Tuesday will have the whip removed, meaning they cannot stand as candidates for the Conservatives in the next election.